Even with the golden age of TV, “peak TV,” and all the other ways to say, “TV is really good right now!”, the TV categories at the Golden Globes remains second fiddle to film. It’s not that people aren’t invested in the outcomes, it’s that the immediacy of what a win for “A Star Is Born” means to the Oscar race is far more pressing than how a “Homecoming” victory could affect the Emmys… in seven months.
Still, with winter in full tilt, people are looking for programs to watch at home, and the Golden Globes are a handy spotlight. So who’s got the edge? That’s always hard to say, given the Globes’ penchant for surprises, but IndieWire has gauged history, heat, and the shifting winds of industry favor to see which TV shows may shoot to the top of viewers’ queues come Sunday.
Needless to say, Anne Thompson is all over the film predictions, so make sure to check those out, as well. Whether it’s a barometer for future awards or a guide to what you should be watching right now, the Golden Globes are a one-stop shop for entertainment. Get ready.
Best Drama Series
BBC AMERICA/Sid Gentle Films Ltd
Will Win: “Killing Eve”
Could Win: “Homecoming”
Should Win: “The Americans”
Four freshmen series throw down with a veteran also-ran, and the young ‘uns have the advantage. “Killing Eve” is one of those choice shows where critics and fans agree. It’s one of the best-reviewed series of 2018, and its audience grew each time BBC America released a new episode. “Homecoming” came on strong late in the year and landed on a slew of Top 10 lists (far better than Julia Roberts’ films did, comparatively). “Bodyguard” brought its buzzy first season across the pond via Netflix and kept the heat alive Stateside. And last but not least, “Pose” garnered all the praise House of FX could handle — you know, since it was already overwhelmed with “The Americans.” Can the longstanding critics’ pick make a run for the crown in its last season? Maybe, but the HFPA favors new shows over old, and final seasons are oft overlooked in favor of the hip new thing.
Best Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Clasen / Amazon
Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
Julia Roberts, “Homecoming”
Keri Russell, “The Americans”
Will Win: Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
Could Win: Julia Roberts, “Homecoming”
Should Win: Keri Russell, “The Americans”
It would be pretty rude not to give the person hosting your award show the trophy she’s nominated for, right? Sandra Oh is co-hosting the Golden Globes with Andy Samberg, but only the “Killing Eve” star is up for an award, and even before she committed to guiding a bunch of drunken celebrities through a three-hour ceremony on national TV, she was the odds-on favorite here. Julia Roberts is certainly deserving — as is everyone in this loaded category — but Oh’s loss at the Emmys leaves the door open for the Globes to be the first to crown her. Keri Russell is the dark horse, but since the series ended more than seven months ago, buzz does not seem to be on her side.
Best Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Stephan James, “Homecoming”
Richard Madden, “Bodyguard”
Billy Porter, “Pose”
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Will Win: Billy Porter, “Pose”
Could Win: Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Should Win: Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Call us crazy, but Billy Porter is the man to beat here.
a) “Pose” is up for Best Drama Series and Best Actor — two major categories — and it’s not likely to win the former. So if the HFPA wants to honor the show, they’ll do it here.
b) Porter doesn’t face stiff competition in terms of celebrity stature or topical buzz. Jason Bateman is coming off a down year for “Ozark,” and Matthew Rhys is this year’s Emmy winner, but that’s as likely to work in his favor as against him (given the HFPA’s preference for newcomers).
c) Anyone who’s seen “Pose” should find it hard to resist checking Porter’s name. When he’s the MC and grandfather of the house balls, he’s as fun, snarky, and sharp; when he’s off-stage, his tragic arc is filled with pathos, sincerity, and resonance. Porter may have been a bit of a surprise on nominations’ day, but he could still walk away with a trophy all his own.
Best Comedy Series
“The Good Place”
“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Will Win: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Could Win: “Barry”
Should Win: “Barry”
Here’s where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. For the last three categories, I’ve been yammering on about the advantage new shows have over preexisting series, but the Globes can be uncharacteristically devout. “Mad Men” won Best Drama Series three years in a row. Between 1994 – ’97, “The X-Files” also won three times. On the Comedy Series side, “All in the Family” won three straight years (and added a fourth a few years later), as did “The Golden Girls” and “Sex and the City” — and all three started their winning streaks when they were first nominated. So the question becomes: Can “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” start that kind of streak, or has the HFPA already moved on? If they have, “Barry” should benefit (though “The Good Place” and “The Kominsky Method” are not-so-dark horses). The last time a comedy repeated in this category was in 2010, when “Glee” took home its second straight prize. Ryan Murphy’s Fox musical also happened to be the last time an hourlong program won, prior to “Maisel,” so maybe this is the year history repeats itself.
Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Kristen Bell, “The Good Place”
Candice Bergen, “Murphy Brown”
Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Debra Messing, “Will & Grace”
Will Win: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Could Win: Kristen Bell, “The Good Place”
Should Win: Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Though each and every one of these fine thespians faces hurdles in their given roles — Alison Brie faces physical demands unparalleled in most comedies, Candice Bergen is resurrecting a character long retired, and Kristen Bell has to eat a lot of really bad shrimp — Brosnahan’s are many and obvious. She speaks fast, she speaks a lot, and she speaks on stage, behind a mic, in a period setting. It’s hard to ignore her talents just as it’s easy to fall for her charms, and that’s what makes for an awards-friendly turn.
Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Michele K. Short/HBO
Jim Carrey, “Kidding”
Sacha Baron Cohen, “Who Is America?”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Will Win: Bill Hader, “Barry”
Could Win: Jim Carrey, “Kidding”
Should Win: Bill Hader, “Barry”
Jim Carrey and Michael Douglas have fame on their sides, and Donald Glover is the defending champion. (“Atlanta” wasn’t eligible for last year’s Globes, but he won for Season 1.) It’s easy to imagine the HFPA swooning over Carrey’s alternating empathy and anger as the beloved but broken children’s show host Jeff Pickles, and Douglas’ well-received TV debut is easy to find via Netflix. But Hader’s turn is unforgettable and “Barry” seems to have only gained steam since it went off the air. Perhaps he’ll lose out because actors aren’t voting on the Globes — like they are with the SAGs and Emmys — but his actor-friendly turn seems to cross barriers beyond those who’ve lived it.
Best TV Movie or Limited Series
Anne Marie Fox/HBO
“American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”
“Escape at Dannemora”
“A Very English Scandal”
Will Win: “Sharp Objects”
Could Win: “A Very English Scandal”
Should Win: “Sharp Objects”
The team behind “A Very English Scandal” has been campaigning pretty hard for the Amazon/BBC One three-episode limited series, but is that push — and a welcoming Hollywood Foreign Press — enough to topple giants like “Sharp Objects” and “American Crime Story”? Maybe. “ACS: The Assassination of Gianni Versace” faced divisive reviews when first released, but the ardent supporters have only grown louder as the anthology series’ second season plows through awards season. “Sharp Objects” has yet to be tested on the circuit, but it’s well on its way to becoming the next “Big Little Lies” juggernaut (though probably without a second season). Meanwhile, “Escape at Dannemora” looks to shock the entertainment world with a win here.
Best Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
Connie Britton, “Dirty John”
Laura Dern, “The Tale”
Regina King, “Seven Seconds”
Will Win: Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
Could Win: Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
Should Win: Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
If “Sharp Objects” is going to win limited series, Amy Adams will have to win here. The two are intertwined, and even though Patricia Arquette and Laura Dern are forces to be reckoned with, Adams’ layered, powerful, and darkly funny turn embodies the series around her. If voters don’t cast their ballots in her favor, it’s unlikely they liked the series enough for it to win. Though Arquette has the next best odds, a Regina King win — in a year where Regina King is killing it — could signal a free-for-all in the limited series races.
Best Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Antonio Banderas, “Genius: Picasso”
Daniel Bruhl, “The Alienist”
Darren Criss, “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Patrick Melrose”
Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”
Will Win: Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”
Could Win: Darren Criss, “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”
Should Win: Benedict Cumberbatch, “Patrick Melrose”
Just as Adams is tied to “Sharp Objects,” so too are the leading men tied to their respective series. Hugh Grant has been all over town talking about “A Very English Scandal” (and “Paddington 2”), and his strong overall year could bolster his odds in this category. That being said, Darren Criss hasn’t met an award he can’t win for “American Crime Story” — the Emmy victor is looking to go three-for-three with nominations at the Globes and upcoming SAG Awards. Whoever comes out on top gives their project an edge in the Limited Series race, but that show will still have to topple “Sharp Objects.”
Best Supporting Actress
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
Penelope Cruz, “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”
Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Will Win: Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
Could Win: Penelope Cruz, “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”
Should Win: Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
With the supporting fields open to any genre, there are enough fan favorites facing off here to make picking one winner nearly impossible. Still, that’s what we’re here for. Alex Borstein could ride a wave of support for “Maisel” (including an Emmy win) to her first Globes victory. Thandie Newton remains the unflappable heart of “Westworld,” kicking ass and donning kimonos to the delight of overwhelmed fans. Yvonne Strahovski became the critical favorite among a stacked cast in “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 2, and Penelope Cruz is, well, Penelope Cruz (a four-time nominee, yet to win). But the good money is on Patricia Clarkson, who helped craft one of TV’s most diabolical and delicious mothers ever. This is only her second Globes nod, despite a stellar career, so expect some extra love for the longtime favorite — a favorite’s favorite, if you will.
Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Edgar Ramirez, “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”
Ben Whishaw, “A Very English Scandal”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Will Win: Ben Whishaw, “A Very English Scandal”
Could Win: Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Should Win: Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
It’s probably not going to happen, but how great would it be if Kieran Culkin won the Golden Globe for “Succession”? It’s his second nomination (he was up for “Igby Goes Down” 16 years prior) and he’s built up quite a resume at 36 years old, but a win for “Succession” would be the best kind of Globes surprise: The HBO drama only has one nomination, but it’s got a fervid cult fan base, landed high spots on a number of year-end Top 10 lists, and Culkin’s Roman Roy is a heartless and snotty rich kid who the actor somehow manages to make likable. No one expects the show to do anything on Sunday, but if one of the Roy family’s favorite sons sneaks to the stage, that would be worth quite a party.